Why PDP National Zoning Committee meeting ended in deadlock

Facts have emerged on why the meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) National Convention Committee on Zoning, held in Enugu, last Thursday, ended in a stalemate.

Recall that the Chairman of the Committee and Governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, after the closed-door meeting, told newsmen that they adjourned to conclude this week, adding that “we had a fruitful meeting”.

Speaking further on what transpired at the meeting, a member of the committee, who does not want his name in print disclosed that the adjournment of the meeting was because there was a sharp division among members of the committee as they could not reach a definite decision on where the next national chairman of the party, currently occupied by the Southern part of the country, should emerge from during the October 30-31 National Convention.

Consequently, the member revealed that the committee adjourned till this week to consult further with other relevant stakeholders in the Party, especially the PDP Governors’ Forum and the Board of Trustees (BOT).

According to the member, while some members of the committee wanted the South to retain it with the hope that doing so will pave way for the presidential candidate of the party to come from the North, others canvassed that the North should produce the next national chairman in the spirit of the four-year rotational agreement in the party.

It was further revealed that two groups emerged from within and outside the zoning committee with both disagreeing on where the next national chairman should come from.

The first group, the ‘Maintain the Status Quo Group’, wanted all the party offices retained on the geographical side to which they presently are.

However, the second group, the ‘Move Around Group’, wanted all the positions presently in the South to be transferred to the North while the ones in the North should move southward.

By the calculation of the ‘Maintain the Status Quo Group’, the chairmanship of the party will be retained in the South while the national secretary will move to the North.

However, the ‘Move Around Group’ wanted the next chairman of PDP to emerge from the North while the South produces the secretary.

Also, while the ‘Move Around Group’ believed that zoning the chairman’s position to the North will make the presidential ticket to be automatically zoned to the South, they continued to insist that the issue at hand now is party position and when the party gets to the point where it has to nominate the presidential flagbearer, the matter will be resolved.

However, the ‘Maintain the Status Quo Group’ believed that the zoning committee should also adopt the position of the Bala Mohammed Committee which reviewed the performance of the party in the 2019 general election. It wanted thepresidential ticket of the party thrown open for aspirants from all the six zones.

Former Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim led the ‘Move Around Group’ with the support of some elements in the South-South and South-East zones. The ‘Maintain the Status Quo Group’ is led by Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo and has the buy-in of key leaders of the party across South-West and the three zones in the North.

Earlier in his welcome address, Gov. Ugwuanyi clarified that the committee has no mandate to zone political offices such as president or vice president.

The governor explained that “our committee is strictly limited to the PDP national executive offices to be contested at the 2021 PDP National Convention scheduled for the end of October 2021”, stressing: “We have no mandate to zone political offices such as president or vice president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.

Gov. Ugwuanyi maintained that the PDP remains the most credible platform to deliver good and accountable governance to Nigeria, adding that the work of the committee will contribute immensely “in this deliberate search for national officers of our party that will help PDP achieve the lofty ideals and goals of our founding fathers”.

He, therefore, encouraged members of the committee to be frank, open and constructive in their proposals and debates, and also exhibit consistency with the enormity of their mandate.

“The membership and leadership of this committee have been carefully selected as it is composed of very experienced, competent and eminent Nigerians who are desirous of repositioning the PDP to play its role not just as the main opposition political party in Nigeria but to build a party that offers alternative policy proposals and hope to Nigerians that there is still light at the end of the tunnel”, Gov. Ugwuanyi said.

Members of the committee present at the meeting included the governor of Benue State, Dr. Samuel Ortom, whois the Deputy Chairman; the Deputy Governor of Zamfara State, Barr. Mahdi Aliyu Mohammed, who serves as secretary; former Presidents of the Senate, Senators Iyorchia Ayu and Anyim Pius Anyim; and former governors of Niger, Ekiti, Sokoto, Jigawa and Adamawa states, Dr. Muazu Aliyu Babangida, Ayodele Fayose, Attahiru Bafarawa, Sule Lamido, and Boni Haruna, respectively.

Also in the meeting were Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, Kabiru Tanimu Turaki, Rt. Hon. Sunday K. E Okoye, Chief Dan Orbih, Chief (Dr.) Ali Odefa, Amb. (Mrs.) Kema Chikwe, Chief Osita Chidoka, Chidi Lloyd, Senator Bassey Ewa Henshaw, Senator Emmanuel Nwaka, Engr. Donatus Udeh, among others.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.